This study compared the ability of foetal thymic epithelium depleted of lymphocytes and dendritic cells, by low temperature or deoxyguanosine (dGuo) treatment in organ culture, to reconstitute T-cell function in nude mice. It is shown that renal capsule grafts of either type could promote the development of functional T lymphocytes in the periphery, as judged by in vivo assays. Both syngeneic and allogeneic thymic epithelium endowed nude mice with the capacity to mount IgG antibody and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to the T-dependent antigen ovalbumin (OVA). Functional reconstitution was accompanied by the appearance of Thy-1-bearing cells in the spleens of thymic grafted nude mice. The results from allogeneically grafted recipients show that a substantial population of peripheral T cells was present that collaborated with B cells and other antigen-presenting cells (APC) which do not express major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules of the thymus donor haplotype.